What do Filipino expats expect from Duterte?


What do Filipino expats expect from Duterte?
Philippine President Duterte

Dubai - What are some of the demands and aspirations of UAE-based Filipinos, from Duterte in his first 100 days in office?

By Angel Tesorero

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Published: Thu 7 Jul 2016, 5:16 PM

Last updated: Fri 8 Jul 2016, 12:01 AM

Rodrigo Duterte, the maverick politician with an acerbic tongue often attributed to him, took oath as the Republic of the Philippines' 16th President last week. Filipinos are eager to see him deliver on his promise of making sweeping changes in the government.
What are some of the demands and aspirations of UAE-based Filipinos, from Duterte in his first 100 days in office? Prospects of a government free of corruption, drugs and criminality; socio-economic, political and constitutional reforms, including the shift to a federal form of government; addressing the root cause of armed rebellion based on reconciliation and national unity; and protection for OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), makes up most of it.
They are likewise enthusiastic about wanting to help Duterte succeed, given the fact that 83.5 per cent (51,879 out of 62,103 registered voters) elected for him in the recent Filipino overseas voting in the UAE.

"Resolving crime is a national concern, especially drugs, because it plagues the poor," Carlos Cuarenta told Khaleej Times. "I'm from Davao City (where Duterte served as mayor for almost two decades) and I've seen how he was able to solve this menace in our hometown with a firm resolve. I hope he can work the same miracle for the entire country. If Duterte can curb the proliferation of illegal drugs, it will be a national gain."
"Duterte should concentrate on the drug lords, since the users can be rehabilitated. Drug use is a business, running on demand and supply - cut the supply and there will be no more demand," added photojournalist Jun Cargullo.
Filipino lawyer Barney Almazar said Duterte should "instill discipline in all Filipinos. When they are abroad, they obey the law, but in the Philippines, rules are not being followed because they think they can get away with it. When people are disciplined, the programmes of the government will be successful. Duterte's first 100 days is crucial, and he should keep the flame alive so Filipino people will see the benefits and maintain the change for good."
For friends Isaac Turingan Manaligod, Nerwin Diego, and Voltaire Balajadia, land reform, protection for OFWs and creation of jobs in the Philippines are the reforms they want to see from the Duterte administration. "Land reform is very important, because there are so many impoverished farmers in our country. We also want migrant workers like us to get protection from our government, with health insurance and other benefits. More jobs should be created in the Philippines so there will come a time when we no longer need to go abroad to find work," the trio told Khaleej Times.
Their demands were echoed by Mike Gracilla. He said: "Duterte should implement sound economic policies and convince businessmen and foreign investors that now is the right time to invest in the Philippines."
Meanwhile, for Inshirah bint Abdul Hamid and Kristie Mae Templa Gonzales, peace talks with communist rebels and the issue in Bangsamoro (Muslims) in Mindanao are the priorities they want Duterte to focus on. "We really believe Duterte can lead the country to genuine peace. He is from Mindanao, and has Muslim blood; we're convinced he understands the Muslim situation in the country better than most of our previous national leaders," Abdul Hamid said.
Carlos Serrano added: "I think he should unite a divided nation. Though he wants to appear tough, he should start off by welcoming the table elected officials who are not under his ticket with open arms, starting off with the VP. Otherwise, he'll earn an increasing number of critics as well as enemies."
"But there will be no genuine change without the people's support, so we will definitely extend our support to his administration," concluded Vicky Manligoy.

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